Sponsored Link

New Mexico Film Champions never say die in fight to gain more productions

Posted by on March 17, 2013

Breaking Bad bill brings more television to New Mexico

In a cliff hanger that rivaled any blockbuster suspense thriller, the nail biting, sometimes gut wrenching, emotional roller coaster of our state’s film production saga came to a head this weekend.

First on Friday afternoon when the bad news spread all over the local film community and unfortunately spilled into national media that Governor Susana Martinez vetoed the increased film incentive proposal dubbed the “Breaking Bad” bill, citing lack of comprehensive tax reform as a part of her overall agenda.

Fortunately unyielding advocates for film jobs and the unsung impact of economic growth felt all across the state prevailed to see the most important adjustments to existing state film industry incentives live on.

The torch was carried on for thousands of industry workers and support service businesses in the form of pre-existing Legislative bill HB 641 – ironically titled An Act Relating to the Public Peace, Health, Safety and Welfare, which rapidly became known as the “Zombie” version of the Breaking Bad bill, largely because the amended act contained the very heart of the incentive changes required to bring more long living, qualified television productions to the state and securing unused budget dollars to roll-over into future years for more film production – all the while not impacting state spending.

Because of stalwart efforts on the floor, namely by bill sponsor, representative Antonio “Moe” Maestes, IATSE Local 480 Business Agent Jon Hendry, and driven on by a strong showing of film community support; by way of a public outcry to the Governor’s office, the “Zombie” bill lived to see another day, passing both the house and the senate, narrowly garnering a show of support from the Governor who promised to sign the bill into law as part of an omnibus tax bill which she deems acceptable and including a majority of her tax plan demands.

The cast of New Mexico’s longest running and most world famous production for whom the original film bill was named, was largely unaware of the drama at a charity event held on Saturday evening at Albuquerque Studios, where they had been filming til 4:30 a.m. Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, R.J. Mitte, Betsy Brandt and Bob Odenkirk, took part in the night’s Youth Development Inc. fundraiser which brought in over $28,000 to benefit children and their families right here in New Mexico, in large part to follow aspirations and become educated in film production careers, as spearheaded by Breaking Bad co-star and hometown activist Steven Michael Quezada.

Even the Mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry who lavished praise on the show’s substantial local economic impact and world over notoriety was learning at the same time as the cast that the heavily anticipated television production incentives were in fact one day closer to becoming a reality.

Bryan Cranston, who talked at length with reporters, YDI supporters and government officials in attendance spoke volumes about the value and immense talents of New Mexico cast and crew base, reiterating again and again that 90% of film workers on the six year production are New Mexico workers. Later in the evening at a closed door event, show creator Vince Gillagan too praised New Mexico, saying it’s a place, “which I now call my home”.

The passage of new legislation increasing incentives for long term production investment in our state finally raises the flag which New Mexico film advocates have championed for so long, sending the message to competing states and world wide productions that New Mexico Film is “open for business”.

Related: Governor Promises to Sign | Breaking Bad Brings Business

Comments (1)

Powered by Wordpress and Stripes Theme Entries (RSS) | Comments (RSS)